The ISO and the imperialist politics of the pseudo-left
16 May 2018
The International Socialist Organization is stepping up its efforts to legitimize American imperialism’s military interventions in the Middle East in the wake of US-British-French missile strikes against Syria, the intensified offensive against Iran signaled by President Donald Trump’s pullout from the Iran nuclear agreement, and the Israeli bombardment of Iranian forces in Syria.
The ISO’s longstanding campaign for an escalation of the US-led war for regime change in Syria and a more direct confrontation with Iranian and Russian forces has closely tracked the moves by the American government. The present situation is no exception.
In recent days, Socialist Worker, the website of the ISO, has prominently featured an editorial published May 8 titled “Our socialism is international,” which concludes with an attack on opponents of the US intervention and Washington’s proxy forces in Syria, branding them apologists for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The ISO has also reposted an article by Ashley Smith from August of 2016, at the height of the media propaganda blitz denouncing the Syrian government offensive against US-backed “rebels” in Aleppo, which makes similar arguments (see: “International Socialist Organization backs NATO escalation in Syria” )
On May 1, Socialist Worker published a commentary titled “The left can’t be silent about Assad’s crimes.” The article attacked a piece published in Jacobin under the headline “US Out of Syria.” Jacobin has adopted an eclectic position on the war, publishing articles both pro and con.
The ISO felt all the more obliged to publicly reply to this article because Jacobin is co-hosting the ISO’s…